Bark, flower and foliage color are important considerations when designing a landscape. To get over the winter doldrums, I like to use warm color combinations that are bright and exciting. Combinations of yellow, purple and red make you feel warm even when there is a touch of late spring snowfall on the ground.
Early spring in the high desert offers interesting color combinations when a mixture of natives and plants that have adapted to Central Oregon are used. Spring flowers such as daffodils, brightly colored tulips, fuzzy pasque flowers, and ground hugging phlox provide color and texture. The flowers contrast nicely with the bark of red twig dogwoods or nootka roses, silvery colored aspens or vine maples. The bright green rounded leaves of snowberries make for a cool contrast to the hot colors of the other plants.
Everyone’s tastes and styles are different. Some people want monochromatic gardens. They remind me of my son who only wears numbered matching white gym socks. Other people are like my daughter who only wears mismatched socks; the brighter the color, the better she likes them. Just like sock choices, there is no right or wrong combinations when it comes to designing your garden. It is all a matter of personal choice.